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ADVAM discuss:

Can a parking reservation platform really help to maximise customer loyalty?

Parking is no longer just a ‘drive-up experience’. Customers are impatient and expect the experience to be convenient and relevant to them. More and more customers expect to be able to book their parking in advance and receive offers or additional services that are of benefit to them.

So, what if you could provide an integrated booking experience. An experience that not only lets your customers pre-book their parking, but to also add other services such as valet parking, or car wash. The customer

could even pre-book beyond their parking experience and add a fast track security pass, or access to the executive lounge. What if, all of this was in a single reservation platform, in your branding, that you could control?

With modern parking reservation platforms, this is possible. Many of the leading UK and European airports are already doing this, providing a full range of services to their customers – all available to pre-book as part of their parking experience.

Using your reservation platform to build a loyal customer base

An improved customer experience naturally helps to create recurring business, but in the face of increased competition, you need to be more engaged with your customers. An advanced reservation platform will enable to you to change a regular customer to a truly loyal customer.

1. Get to know your

customers Use the booking journey to build a customer profile, not just who they are and where they are travelling from, but what type of traveller they are, how frequently they travel and their profile (i.e. are they willing to pay more to park close to the airport, or are they a frugal traveller and would prefer to reduce costs and park further away from the terminal).

2. Provide products and offers that are relevant to

your customers. My building detailed customer profiles, linked to each account and travel trends, you can make sure your products or special offers are relevant to your customers and will lead to increased sales. For example does a ‘time poor traveller’ need an incentive to upgrade to valet parking, or to fast track through security? Would the ‘frugal traveller’ appreciate a discount on a service that they normally wouldn’t buy?

The ability to make your products relevant to your customers is not about offering more, but as a tool to increase sales of products and services that they would not normally purchase – increasing the share of wallet.

3. Engage with your

customers Now you know who your customers are, you can engage with them. Using the profile information to let them know about special offers or new products that would be relevant to them. Using an effective engagement platform, you can monitor what triggers their interest and ultimate buying decisions, enabling you to further profile and make sure you can keep adapting your products, prices and offers to further increase sales. In addition to targeting customers that

have already purchased or engaged with you, an integrated engagement strategy can be used to extend your customer reach. By incentivising your already loyal customers to reach out to their network and promote the

products or offers that are relevant to their friends, families or colleagues.

4. Integrate with your

loyalty programs The reservation platform enables you to understand your customers and to engage with them, but to fully maximise its potential your platform should integrate with your own or a third party loyalty program. Some airports have their own loyalty

programs, offering points or discounts to customers that park and shop at the airport. These programs can be really effective to drive sales in key parts of the airports portfolio and to understand your customers buying behaviours when they are at the airport.An alternative and effective strategy for some airports is to link to a third party program or airline loyalty program. This can enable the airport to incentivise customers, while benefitting from the brand reach and engagement platform of an established loyalty program.

In summary, with the increase in competition it can be tempting to compete on price or special offers alone. However by utilising an integrated reservation platform that encompasses your brand, enables you to understand who your customers are and how to engage with them, you can create real customer loyalty. Real loyalty that can lead to increased sales, customer value and advocacy.

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